We often get a lot of questions on how to buy a firearm online. If you want to buy a gun online, it is really not that difficult. That said, all laws and regulations still apply, just as they would if you purchased a gun from your local federal firearm license (FFL) dealer. Some dealers are easier to work with than others and some have a process that must be followed when you buy a gun online. If they do, it is often listed on their website or they will tell you.
Most of the time when you buy a gun online, you will find the gun you are looking for and then find a dealer that will accept the inbound transfer for you. Many people who have bought guns online before, already have a local dealer they work with. Your receiving dealer will have to fax, email or mail a copy of their current and legible FFL. Many online dealers keep copies on file of dealers they have shipped to in the past. They are often listed on their website. If they already have a copy of the dealer that you want to have your firearm shipped to, that will save the step of your receiving dealer having to send a copy of the FFL.
Once you buy the gun you want, the online store will ship your firearm to the address listed on your dealers FFL. Once your online gun purchase arrives at your local dealer, you will go there and fill out the ATF form 4473 and your local dealer will run your background check. Some states have more regulation on firearm purchases in general, those apply regardless of whether you bought your gun in your local dealers store or online. You MUST pass the background check and comply with any additional restrictions your city or state may have. If you don’t pass the background check, the firearm cannot be transferred to you.